What are the “Ten Crucial Days?”     

In December 1776, a mere six months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, General George Washington's fledgling American Army and the cause of liberty were on the verge of being extinguished. A disastrous New York campaign that fall had resulted in the loss of more than half of Washington’s troops, as well as the confidence of Congress and his fellow citizens. Retreating through “the Jerseys” with the remnants of his ragtag Continentals, Washington and his soldiers sought refuge on the west bank of the Delaware River, having narrowly escaped King George III's British troops and their Hessian auxiliaries. Doubling as peace commissioners, British General William Howe and his brother, Royal Navy Admiral Sir Richard Howe, reasoned that further bloodshed was unnecessary. They assumed that the rebellious American soldiers—many of whose enlistments were scheduled to expire at year's end—would no longer be able to offer any significant resistance. Settling into winter quarters, General Howe ordered his regiments to set up a string of cantonments posted through the Jerseys.  

George Washington saw something very different... Taking stock of his army’s desperate situation, the rebel commander-in-chief would launch his forces into a series of victorious engagements, of which British historian Sir George Otto Trevelyan later wrote, “It may be doubted whether so small a number of men ever employed so short a space of time with greater and more lasting effects upon the history of the world.” That space of time—December 25, 1776 to January 3, 1777—encompassed “Ten Crucial Days” that changed the course of history.

Do something revolutionary! Experience the “Ten Crucial Days.”

Upcoming Events

WCPA Board of Trustees Meeting

May 11 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Living History Theater

May 14 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

As the Lady of the Manor, Hannah Penn tended to everyone when they were sick, including her husband. Come and talk with Hannah and the people at Pennsbury about their…

May Book Club: Betsy Ross and the Making of America

May 15 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
PA United States

In partnership with the Friends of Washington Crossing Park the next meeting of the Washington Crossing Historic Park Book Club is set for Monday, May 15, 2023 at 5:30 PM.…

Open-Hearth Cooking: White Meats (Cheese and Butter)

May 21 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The grass is green, and the cows are being milked. The cooks will demonstrate 17th Century receipts (recipes) using dairy products.


May 21 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(All ages.) Come out to the pond and use a basic fishing pole made from a bamboo shoot and rigged to catch bluegills. Any caught fish will be released but…

Beer Brewing & Garden Highlights

May 28 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The brewing of beer as well as maintaining a garden were critical to the lives of those living at Pennsbury Manor. Explore and experience the sights, sounds, and smells of…

Memorial Day Ceremony

May 28 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
1112 River Road
Washington Crossing, PA 18977 United States

Washington Crossing Historic Park will hold its annual Memorial Day ceremony on Sunday, May 28 at 1 PM at the gravesite of Continental soldiers located near the Thompson-Neely House. The…

Site Closed – Memorial Day

May 29

Lecture – “Feeding Washington’s Army: Surviving the Valley Forge Winter of 1778” with Ricardo Herrera

June 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
1112 River Road
Washington Crossing, PA 18977 United States

On Thursday, June 1 at 7 PM, Ricardo A. Herrera will discuss his new book, Feeding Washington’s Army: Surviving the Valley Forge Winter of 1778 (Chapel Hill, University of North…